Road weeks away from open­ing to traf­fic

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - DANIEL BIRCHFIELD [email protected]

WESTVIEW Dr at We­ston will re­main closed to ve­hi­cle traf­fic un­til at least the end of Fe­bru­ary, the Waitaki Dis­trict Coun­cil has con­firmed.

A large hole in the road was dis­cov­ered by We­ston Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade fire­fight­ers pump­ing wa­ter that had threat­ened homes in Grove St dur­ing heavy rain that soaked the dis­trict through­out much of Novem­ber.

It was re­vealed a cul­vert had col­lapsed, which caused sig­nif­i­cant flood­ing in the area.

Westview Rd has been closed since late Novem­ber while a plan was de­vel­oped to fix the is­sue.

In a state­ment, Waitaki Dis­trict Coun­cil road­ing man­ager Michael Voss the project had taken longer than ex­pected to get un­der way, as two sec­tions of the cul­vert had col­lapsed, one on land owned by the coun­cil and the other on land owned by Ki­wiRail. That meant a plan had to be ap­proved by both par­ties.

Work would start this week, he said.

‘‘We are look­ing at six weeks to com­ple­tion de­pend­ing on weather and sub­con­trac­tor avail­abil­ity. I would sug­gest com­ple­tion will be mid­March, though we will have more cer­tainty on this shortly.’’

Mr Voss said it was likely the road would be re­opened to traf­fic by ‘‘the end of Fe­bru­ary or early March’’, be­fore re­pairs would be made to the present de­tour route.

Work to re­pair the Westview Dr cul­vert will in­volve the con­struc­tion of a new cham­ber in the ex­ist­ing box cul­vert and a new cul­vert be­ing laid on the out­let side of the road.

A new, sec­ondary stormwa­ter pipe will be in­stalled through the rail em­bank­ment par­al­lel to the ex­ist­ing box cul­vert and above the cul­vert, an ex­ist­ing sewer line will be re­aligned.

Back­fill ma­te­rial will be re­placed and com­pacted in lay­ers be­fore con­trac­tors reach the new road for­ma­tion level be­fore the road is re­con­structed and sealed.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher ad­mit­ted the du­ra­tion of the project was not ideal, but said it was im­por­tant the ap­pro­pri­ate work was car­ried out to avoid a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent hap­pen­ing again.

‘‘Hav­ing the de­tour in place is def­i­nitely an in­con­ve­nience to need to get to the other side.

‘‘It’s been re­ally im­por­tant to get the work done right and that’s com­pli­cated by the fact it’s ac­tu­ally a cou­ple of sec­tions of cul­vert . . . our team have been work­ing on get­ting the best en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tion.’’

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Un­der re­pair . . . Ex­ca­va­tion work at Westview Dr, We­ston, where two sec­tions of a cul­vert col­lapsed af­ter Novem­ber’s heavy rain.

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